Pattern Review: Primavera Sweater

Pattern by Renate Dziedataja

I made mine in...

Yarn: Pink Lemonade (from the yarn test)

Needle size: 3.5mm

The Primavera Sweater is a bottom-up sweater construction with 3 sleeve options, and a beginner-friendly lace repeat. This was the pattern I used in my yarn test! After hours of searching, I gave up on trying to find a pattern I liked for 100% cotton sports weight yarn. I took a gamble and decided to adapt the Primavera Sweater pattern.

Thankfully, because the bottom-up construction is fairly simple, I didn't have to re-calculate stitch counts. I just found a stitch count for the waist that fit me, then followed the pattern for that size. I ended up going with size 1 for the body. I picked up enough stitches at the armholes to go with size 6 for the bell sleeves, and increased at a faster rate than the pattern calls for due to my gauge difference. This is a great pattern to use as a base for all kinds of yarn, since it is so easily modified.

I did make one significant modification in the back shaping. Using German shortrows, I modified the pattern for a full back instead of a v-shaped back neckline. I matched the shoulder shaping of the front piece, and did as many rows as the front piece. The resultant neckline is a pleasant crew neck!

Because this is a paid pattern, I won't give away its secrets, but I truly enjoyed the techniques used. The shoulder bind-off and shoulder shaping were so elegant. I learned a lot from this pattern, and it provided essential links to tutorials for the more advanced techniques.

The only thing I struggled with was the cast on, for which there was nothing specific suggested. I went with the tubular cast on, and it was such a pain compared to a tubular cast off. It ended up beautiful, but I don't think I will be trying this cast on again.

I have to say that I still prefer the seamless look that a top-down sweater gives, but the fit of a bottom-up construction is really great. The seams are also not as obvious as I thought they would be as I was knitting them.

This was also my first attempt at lacework, and the lace repeat is so simple that I memorised it quickly. In cotton yarn, the lacework really opens up after blocking!

As beautiful as this piece turned out, there are some things I would change if I did it a second time around. First, the i-cord bind off was too thin. Stockinette hems naturally want to curl because of the difference in tension in the front and the back of the fabric. This isn't quite as obvious on the neckline because the weight of the garment helps to hold things straight, but the sleeves of this sweater tend to curl up. I would use a 6-stitch i-cord bind off instead for the sleeve hems and a 4-stitch i-cord bind off for the neckline. A thicker i-cord will help to counter the curl.

Secondly, I really struggled with the twisted rib waist hem. It hurt my hands, and the resulting rib doesn't look like rib to me. Twisted rib is very divisive and some people swear by it, but I guess it's just not for me!

I have enjoyed wearing my Primavera Sweater for special occasions and on holiday! It's a real beauty and I'm happy to have bought this pattern. Find more pictures of the completed garment on my Instagram (links below)!